It is nice that your children or grandchildren enjoy their toys…but if a favorite stuffed animal or doll goes everywhere, it’s probably ready for a good cleaning. And most toys cannot be tossed into the washing machine! Here’s what to do…

Soft toys: If a stuffed toy isn’t machine washable, you can “dry-clean” it by placing it in a plastic bag and sprinkling in enough cornstarch to cover the item. Shake the bag enough to evenly distribute the powder. Then seal the bag, and let it stay that way overnight. The next day, open the bag over the sink, shaking out most of the powder. Brush or vacuum off the remainder.

Hard plastic toys: Combine one tablespoon of liquid dish detergent with one-quarter cup of baking soda to form a paste. Put the paste on a toothbrush, and gently brush away the dirt. Use a clean, moist sponge to wipe the plastic clean. This works especially well on dolls with plastic faces.

More household magic…